You know how some people can’t live without coffee? Well, it’s what working out is to me – it is an essential part of my life. While waking up earlier in the morning or clocking in extra hours after your work/school may sound gruelling, I believe that in the long run, you’ll be glad you did! It does take trial and error to find something you like and fit your lifestyle (that also changes every now and then, I get it) and it’s okay. Sure, if losing weight is the first thing that comes to mind to motivate you, go for it – but there are other surprising benefits from setting few moments aside of your day to work out, too. So here are few options that I have tried over the years and my take on it.

1. Fitness Center ($$ -$$$)

Works if : you value convenience and use fitness equipments routinely.

Going to fitness chains like Celebrity Fitness, Gold’s Gym, etc. is like going to Starbucks – it is everywhere and you know what to expect when you go there. That means, your fitness regime will never take a pause because you don’t have an excuse not to go!

However, this doesn’t work too well for me basically because I hate going to the malls, period. I also don’t use much fitness equipments, but mostly the first reason deters me from ever going (the first and last time I worked out at a gym chain is 10 years ago). So no picture of me going to the gym and I ain’t gonna have one anytime soon!

2. At Your Favorite Studio ($$$)


That, my friend, is definitely not me.

That, my friend, is definitely not me. Even after few months practicing, I’m usually that goof in the corner trying intermediate poses and going to savasana first. However, I love yoga so much, it has given me so much benefits though I can’t do the difficult poses (YET! but I will!).

Works if : you want to be good at a certain sport and really like a specific studio.

Committing yourself to one studio may be the best way for you to get better, faster. The biggest advantage of committing to one particular studio is familiarity and that you know the instructors/coaches better and they, in turn, will be more invested to help you be better at it. If you have any sports goal, share it with them and they are more than happy to help you get there, especially when you attend their classes regularly. While it is usually more pricey, but if it helps you nail those crazy yoga poses then why not?

3. Find Your Tribe ($)



Ah, our tiny running community of two.

Works if : you like working out as much as socialising

It is true that there is strength in numbers because sports community is more than working out. Pushing through and coming for a basketball session are easier when you have a group of friends you are excited to see. There’s also a feeling of ‘being in this together’, especially if you are training for a purpose, say a marathon – it balances the solitary aspect of an individual sport. Plus, you can even get to know some new friends from the community.

While I am not in any community right now, joining a basketball team in my early years helped a lot with teamwork, thinking on my feet and after a day of schoolwork, it’s a great way to relieve tension. It can be hard to match everyone’s schedule but I promise it’s worth it!

Working out with your family can also be a fun thing to do! We usually walk around the neighborhood (I know! I live in Jakarta and I can walk around, it’s magic!) or once in a year while, we Zumba!


Oh, the vintage-y filter of 2012. Basketball is my constant go-to for 8 years. Memories of basketball game days are some of the fondest from my school experience (may not be applicable to the first year of high school, ahem).

4. Fitness Studio Subscription ($$)


The only photo op I would bother to do in class.


Works if : you like to try everything (a.k.a non-committal) or if there are many partner studios around you

Fitness studio subscription charges you a certain amount per month for unlimited session (usually 3 visits per studio per month) at its partner boutique studios, so think of unlimited yoga, pilates, Thai boxing, and the good stuffs. I’ve been subscribing for the better part of this year and it’s how I discovered Aquarobic (it’s aquatic aerobic and it’s SUPER awesome!), my love for Bikram, pilates and barre, and dislike for zumba – buuut you never know, you may see me dancing to the beat someday!

The downside is that every studio usually has only limited spots set aside, so sometimes you need a bit of luck and good timing to book at your favourite studio. But all in all, I am a self-proclaimed brand evangelist (pssst, the name is GuavaPass and if you’re interested, let me know so I can get you some %!)


5. Just a Touch Away! ($)

Works if : you are busy and want a work out on-the-go.

There are soooo many fitness apps that can support your ahem, busy, sedentary lifestyle : Nike Training Club, Nike Run, Freeletics, or as easy as the steps tracker on your phone (it works! you are more conscious of how much you’ve moved that day). It is the most practical (it’s affordable and you can do it almost anywhere with what little time you have) yet the hardest option (it’s affordable – free, even – so you DON’T feel “i’ve paid for this therefore i have to go” and since you don’t commit to any group, you and you alone have to be the one who muster up the will to work out). Ah, tough choice but it does get easier once it becomes a routine.

We can honestly talk about this for hours and I still would have been excited, seriously. First and foremost though, you need to be able to have fun and enjoy your work out. Don’t take it seriously, it’s so important that what you do is not a burden, do it with a happy heart and it will give you back so much more – mentally, especially. I know it does sound crazy but by smiling (yes, even in yoga class, believe me that nobody cares), giving yourself positive pep talk and happy thoughts, you are nurturing your mind and heart and it is a beautiful self-love on its own. Thank your body for giving your best, thank your mind for not giving up (and actually going to the class!) and last but not least, have fun, go mad.

Until next time,